sunday sound off bit

it’s amazing how memories can pop up and get tainted all at the same time…

…and this had always been such a pleasant one.

one of the things that “caught me in the feels” when i first started working at atomic around fifteen years ago was not the building they were in, but one that was diagonally across the street. it’s the original “phil’s ice house”, a burger chain done by the amy’s ice cream folks, where all the burgers are named after classic austin neighborhoods and such.

if you haven’t had it, i highly recommend it.

the OG location has an amy’s attached (spoiler alert – they all do) and is directly in front of the amy’s corporate office in an old gas station. the kitchen and area you order your burgers in is all new, but the rest is the original filling station, with the garage part functioning as the dining room (and still having operational garage doors, which they open when the weather’s nice) and the original office serving the ice cream. the ledge where the two pumps once stood in still there in the middle of picnic tables and a playscape and such.

while in it’s current incarnation it hits, too, since it’s where nik and i had our second date (the one where i met os), the original filling station holds a small, but cool, childhood memory. my dad had an old blue volvo back in the 70’s, and as was required at the time, it had a CB radio. but dad’s had two cool extra features – first, the “mic” was actually a telephone headset, vs, the little square one. secondly, you could hit a switch and it went to a PA speaker in the hood, broadcasting LOUDLY whatever you said. so we pulled up, dad handed me the headset, and told me to announce we needed five bucks worth of unleaded, please. i did. my voice echoed off the metal awning and concrete floor. i was hooked – radio trajectory begun.

since then i’d never heard a PA speaker under a hood, save for cops. citizens didn’t do it, and why would they? the sound quality is really bad, as such speakers dramatically sacrifice sound quality for decibels. well, never until last week.

last week while doing an in-town wednesday whiskey quest i had a car pull in next to me that was BLARING shitty hip hop with even shittier sound quality. it was bad. your cousin with the old samsung note gets better sound listening to his shitty hip hop than this guy, but that didn’t stop him from cranking it to the point where i could hear it while in the very back of the liquor store by the beer coolers and still be able to hear distinctive lyrics. i discovered he was next to me as i walked outside (sans booze, they didn’t have what i wanted) and it kept getting louder as i got closer to my car, only for me to discover this old cop car next to me on bad rims and even worse music pouring out from behind the grill. as i shook my head i caught a glimpse of the driver walking up with a pizza from little cesar’s, so i turned to him and said, “might sound like shit but at least it’s loud, right?” giving him a very sarcastic thumbs up, which he returned as he obviously couldn’t hear me over tinny din of shitty rap flow.

i hopped in my ride and between bmw sound proofing and sixteen rockford fosgate speakers the offensive ear raping was silenced as i was flown away on a cloud of actual, nice sounding hip hop courtesy of sirius xm.

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